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Seminole County Awarded Nearly $200k Pool Safety Grant To Prevent Drownings By U.S. Consumer Product

Seminole County, FL (February 19, 2024) — Seminole County Government was recently awarded a two-year pool safety grant of $194,535 by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission for pool safety, education, training, and enforcement.  The Seminole County Fire Department (SCFD), the Gunner Martin Foundation, and the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office Community Foundation will partner to use the funds for various education and outreach efforts that aim to prevent drownings and save lives. Only eight state and local governments nationwide were selected to receive more than $2 million in Pool Safely Grant Program grant funds.

In the summer of 2023, the Seminole County Fire Departmentthe Gunner Martin Foundation and the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office Community Foundation partnered to distribute nearly 400 door alarms. The alarms were distributed to residents at Seminole County library branches. Pool/door alarms alert parents and caregivers when a door to the pool area is opened, preventing children from entering pool areas unattended.

The Seminole County Community Health Division took the lead in applying for the grant. In addition to purchasing more alarms for residents, funds from the grant will support:

  • Free survival swim lessons for eligible Seminole County youth
  • Education to first responders, code enforcement and other public safety professionals on identifying pool safety hazards and other drowning prevention methods to help residents
  • Drowning prevention education and outreach to residents


With the grant, more door alarms were purchased to give out for free at the following Seminole County Library branches while supplies last (one per household). Available for pick up at:

  • North Branch Library, 150 N Palmetto Avenue, Sanford, FL 32771
  • West Branch Library, 245 N Hunt Club Boulevard, Longwood, FL 32779


“Drowning is the leading cause of injury-related death for children ages one to four in Florida,” said Seminole County Board of County Commissioner Amy Lockhart. “We are extremely thankful to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission for this grant that will help expand drowning prevention initiatives in Seminole County and keep our residents and visitors safe.”

“The grant would not be possible without the Seminole County Community Health Division assistance with the application process or the Seminole County Fire Department’s valued partnership with the Gunner Martin Foundation,” said Fire Chief Matt Kinley of the Seminole County Fire Department. “Pediatric drowning calls are tragic accidents, and our first responders are invested and duty-bound to help our community avoid them.”


About the Gunner Martin Foundation

The Gunner Martin Foundation was established in August of 2016 by Seminole County Firefighter Chris Martin and his wife Christina Martin just four short months after their son Gunner was found dead in their backyard pool. Since that time, the Martin family, through the Gunner Martin Foundation, has worked tirelessly to provide awareness and education on water safety for children. The Foundation aims to make sure parents everywhere are equipped with the knowledge to protect their children in their own backyards.


Pediatric Drownings in Seminole County

According to the Florida Department of Health’s 2022 data, the rate per 100,000 population of Deaths from Unintentional Drowning (ages 0-17) went up in 2022 from 3.0 to 4.0.  In 2022, the Seminole County Fire Department responded to eight pediatric drowning calls and there was one death. In 2023, there have been nine pediatric drowning calls and five deaths in Seminole County.

Visit the CPSC’s website at for more information on the Pool Safely Grant Program as well as free, downloadable educational materials available to the public. Visit for information on drowning prevention initiatives in Seminole County.

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